Asian markets rebound, led by Japan stocks

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Asian stocks rebounded Friday on eased worries about the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy and an improvement in U.S. economic data, with relief buying helping Japanese equities stage a rebound after Thursday’s hefty losses. The Nikkei Stock Average  climbed 2.1% to 12,710.37, taking back some ground after the previous day’s 6.4% plunge, while the broader Topix  gained 1.8% to 1,062.70.
The gains pulled the Nikkei Average back from the bear-market territory they had reentered Thursday, having dropped more than 20% from its May 23 high.
The bounce came after stocks on Wall Street snapped out of a three-day losing streak, aided by a report in The Wall Street Journal that the Fed was likely to use its next policy meeting to quell fears about raising short-term interest rates in the near future.
Data on U.S. retail sales and new jobless claims also signaled an improvement.
“We are stuck in a ‘Goldilocks world’ as the continued seesawing between concerns about market-related policy and the real U.S. economy [are] likely to persist for the remainder of the year,” said Perpetual head of investment market research Matthew Sherwood.
“The key to market trends would be economic data not coming in super-hot or super-cold. Instead, it needs to be middle-ground, which enables earnings growth to persist without concerning the hawks in the U.S. Fed,” Sherwood said.
The gains also followed minutes of the Bank of Japan’s last meeting, which showed a few members of the policy-setting board believed the current monetary-policy framework doesn’t rule out the possibility of further measures, if needed.
Several exporters gained, even as the dollar  dropped back below the ¥95 handle in choppy trade, after rising well above that level earlier in the day.
Shares of Mazda Motor Corp.   rose 2.6%, and Casio Computer Co.   added 4.1%.
Also reversing some recent losses, real-estate major Mitsui Fudosan Co.  jumped 4%, and rival Mitsubishi Estate Co.   climbed 4.1%. Both stocks still looked set to end the week lower.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.   climbed 4.6% after the Nikkei newspaper reported the company’s directors had dismissed its president and scuttled merger talks with Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. . Mitsui Engineering gave up early gains to drop 1.4%.
Australia up on miners, banks
Elsewhere in the region, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200  rose 1.2%, and South Korea’s Kospi  climbed 0.6%.
Mining issues jumped in Sydney, including a 2.9% gain in Rio Tinto Ltd.   and a 1.3% rise for gold producer Newcrest Mining Ltd.
High-yield-dividend banking shares moved higher as the Australian dollar  strengthened. Shares of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group   bounced 2.4%, and Westpac Banking Corp.   rose 2%.
Relief-buying also lifted several beaten down shares in Seoul. Heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co. rose 0.9%, and GS Engineering & Construction Corp.  added 1%.
(Source: Google News)

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